DES MOINES — The “Bizarro Game” ended Western Dubuque’s baseball season Friday afternoon.
Not bizarre, mind you, but Bizarro, as in opposite. A 12-2, five-inning loss to Dallas Center-Grimes in a Class 3A state tournament semifinal at Principal Park was virtually identical to WD’s 12-1, five-inning quarterfinal win Tuesday over Harlan.
Only it was the opponent doing all the hitting and scoring in this case.
“What happened to us is the same thing that happened to Harlan,” said Western Dubuque Coach Casey Bryant.
“When you’re on the winning side of that, everything seems good,” said WD outfielder Ryan Lehmann. “But when you’re on the other side, you don’t know how to deal with it. They hit the ball well, so we’ll just wish them the best in the championship game.”
Top-seeded Dallas Center-Grimes (35-2) has won 22 straight going into tonight’s 3A title game, its two losses to 4A opponents. WD (35-10) will have to settle for a great run in the postseason and a school record for victories.
Don’t dwell on this one, fellas. Look at your body of work.
“Tough way to end it,” said first baseman Nick Tuttle. “But it was a fun year.”
DC-G scored three times in the first inning, watched Western Dubuque pull within a run in the third, then put on the offensive accelerator with two runs in the bottom of that inning and seven more in the fifth to invoke the mercy rule.
WD scored seven runs in the first inning in its romp past Harlan. More Bizzaro.
“We found some holes when we were hitting,” said DC-G outfielder Jake Lewis. “Everything just clicked today.”
“We had our chances. We had people on base,” Lehmann said. “Then whatever we were throwing, they were hitting it. They’re a good team. You tip your hat to them.”
Bryant lamented some of the early hits against that produced DC-G runs against starting pitcher Cody Reimer (7-3). There was a bloop two-run single over shortstop by No. 9 hitter Justin Carlye and back-to-back RBI hits to the outfield in the second that weren’t hit particularly hard.
But the Coach knows they count because his club had a few Tuesday.
“They got a couple bleeders to fall in, and all of a sudden, they got their confidence rolling,” Bryant said. “Hitting breeds hitting. Next thing you know, they’re hitting the ball hard, too.”
DC-G outhit Western Dubuque, 13-3. Western Dubuque outhit Harlan, 14-2.
Here is the game boxscore: